Today's users of broadband are generally dependant upon either cable or satellite technologies for the connection to their home or office. Cable can provide excellent capability, particularly fibre, but is only commercially viable in high usage areas. Satellite provides widespread geographic coverage but has limited capability & capacity.
The Capanina project will develop broadband capability from aerial platforms including High Altitude Platforms (HAPs) to deliver cost effective solutions providing a viable alternative to cable and satellite, with the potential to reach rural, urban and travelling users.
Examples of HAPs include airships and solar powered aeroplanes operating at altitudes of around 20km, well above any air traffic. CAPANINA builds on the FP5 HeliNet project (IST-1999-11214) that illustrated the enormous potential of broadband from HAPs and developed an outline system design. The technology developed will deliver data rates to fixed and moving users of up to 120Mbit/s anywhere within a HAPs' 60km dia coverage area.
Free-space optic and mm-wave technologies will be used for backhaul & interplatform links providing seamless integration with existing infrastructure.
To provide flexibility and to ensure timely delivery of commercial benefits a two-stage approach will be implemented yielding near term viable solutions and outlining the scope for longer term higher risk developments:
- An evolving aerial platform system test-bed supporting broadband services, e.g. high-speed Internet, corporate communications & video on demand, will be evaluated on a low-altitude tethered aerostat, a stratospheric balloon and potentially a HAP. Unique to this architecture the test-bed will also be used to obtain mm-wave band propagation measurements to fixed and moving users.
-A system outline will be developed with capability to provide up to 120Mbit/s to vehicles travelling at up to 500km/h, interfacing to on board wireless LAN access.
Fields of science
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
IP5 3RE Martleham Heath
YO10 4UA York